Thursday, August 29, 2013

BLOOD MOON now uploaded to Smashwords

In the last week I have worked hard on completing a 2nd edition of BLOOD MOON. Due to some unforeseen formatting issues on the Kindle Fire, I went back through the whole book and fixed all 1000 numbered SAT words for a better reading experience. I also added the blurb after the cover so that readers can be reminded why they bought my book in the first place. :-)

The updated version has now been uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon.

For those unfamiliar with Smashwords, it is a website where authors can upload their books for sale and distribution with numerous book sites such as Barnes & Noble and Apple's iBookstore. It will take a bit for those additional distribution channels to have my book available for sale. Once that happens, you should be able to buy my book in any format you want.

Smashwords sells my book also in multiple formats. You can visit the link below to purchase BLOOD MOON at their site:

Smashwords Sales Page for BLOOD MOON

I will keep you updated once my book is available at other sites.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blood Moon available for purchase in PDF format

Today marks the day I can now offer my book, Blood Moon, for sale in other venues. I gave the Amazon KDP program a shot for the first 90 days, and now I am branching out into other formats and websites.

If you notice in my sidebar, there is a PayPal button. You can now purchase the PDF version of Blood Moon directly from me, the author, for the same 99 cents I was charging at Amazon.

The PDF version is a slightly better version, if you ask me. Originally, I had footnoted all 1000 SAT words with the definitions at the bottom of each page. That way, as you read, you could find your definitions and move on. Unfortunately, due to formatting issues with e-books, I had to scrap the footnotes and only leave numbered SAT words throughout the text.

If you use a traditional Kindle reading device, you can hover over each word and let the Kindle dictionary help you with the definitions.

For those who were waiting for other formats, please click on the BUY NOW button in my sidebar. Once I receive payment, I will deliver the PDF directly to your email inbox.

My next challenge is getting Blood Moon uploaded for Barnes & Noble, the iBookstore, and other online resources for books. Thank you for your support and happy reading!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Adventures in Gold Mining

My husband and I took a short camping trip over the weekend to try out our new sluice box. Yes, you read that right, we bought a sluice box.

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with finding treasure. Probably runs in the family as my mother was the one who took us places when we were kids to 'find' things: yard sales, gold panning in California Gold Country, etc.

Over the years I have searched for emeralds in North Carolina, diamonds in Arkansas and now I'm into gold. Probably because I happened to live in an area of the U.S. where there is lots of gold to be found. Or at least, there USED to be a lot of gold to be found.

A few years' back, we took a trip to Montana and did some gold prospecting in an area where you were allowed to try your hand at panning on public lands. We found a few itsy bitsy flakes and brought home a bucket of dirt that we meant to pan through at our leisure. It's still in the garage, but, hey, we can take our time, right?

This weekend, we headed out into the wilderness to camp in a meadow that is near a decent-sized stream. At the end of this stream there are the remains of a gold mining town. So, there is definitely a reason to believe there is gold along this stream. How much and where it can be found is the mystery.

We bought the sluice intending to power through the pay dirt and find ourselves some major gold. After reading the very basic instructions that came with the sluice box (basically, 'put your sluice box in the river and dump dirt into it'), my husband tried to find some useful instructions on You Tube. We were looking for angles or water speeds or *anything* that might actually be helpful. What we found:

1) Lots of videos by scary-looking men with bad facial hair that claimed everyone else's videos were crap.

2) Lots of videos by scary-looking men with bad facial hair using mike set ups that only picked up the sounds of rushing water, rather than any helpful advice.

3) Lots of videos by scary-looking men with bad facial hair giving no useful advice whatsoever about: how to keep your sluice box from filling up with dirt, how to set up your sluice box in the stream so that water funnels into it properly, how to angle your sluice box with rocks to keep it at the correct slope and to keep it from floating away.

After several hours of trying, we did end up running dirt through our sluice. It did result in a lot of black sand in the carpet beneath the metal grid. We maybe found a tiny flake of gold that we proudly brought home in our snuffer.

I gave up around 2 o'clock. My husband kept going (as men are wont to do when they have a goal in mind) and finally moved to a new spot on the stream that afforded him lighter material with a lot of visible black sand and a better set up for the sluice that resulted in less dirt build up.

To some, the experience may have been a failure. But, instead, we have renewed enthusiasm to keep trying. Once we have mastered the sluice box, we just need to find the right spot on the stream to start raking it in.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Letterpress - a game for word lovers

I just got back from a 10-day vacation to visit family. My sister, who plays Words with Friends with me quite regularly, announced she had bored of the Scrabble-like game after discovering Letterpress. She has had a rep in our family for skilled word slinging ever since beating my mother at Scrabble when she was 13.

At her encouragement, I downloaded the game to my phone.

I am not one who enjoys reading detailed instructions for games of this sort. I like to wing it and see if I can figure out how to play before I worry about the finer points of beating my opponent. I don't care if I lose multiple times because it is more about using my brain than beating someone. (although winning is a nice reward for using my brain...)

If you like words - the more complicated, the better - then you will love Letterpress. I won't describe how you play the game, because it takes a bit of time to catch on. In fact, I'm still catching on. The basic premise is that you spell the longest word you can in order to capture letters on the board. Once a word has been played, it cannot be played again. If you can add 'ed' or 's' or 'un' or  'in' or any number of suffixes and prefixes to a word that has been played, you can capture all those letters. So it helps to know lots of word building tricks.

Here is the link to their website:

I have an iPhone, so I am not sure if it is available for other smart phones.

You have no idea how addicting this game can be. A quote from my sister when she first showed me the game, "If you're wondering how many games you can have going at once, I found out. It's 50."